I have lost a better part of my vision. Although the text is about a foot high I have to use a magnifying glass to check out what I have typed. The doctors have classified me as legally blind. I have cataracts in both of my eyes. I have an issue with my my optic nerve. The physicians also suspect glaucoma. I can see as though I am looking at the world through a cloud. Cataracts are not a big deal, but the optic nerve issue is a concern.
So what does an artist do when ones vision dims? The real question is what does a creative do when they have limited vision? After hitting rock bottom, I realized the creative part of me was handed a challenge. First I just need to hang on for a short period. I have two separate surgeries. Then the docs will see if at least one eye can be saved. Hopefully the glaucoma will not be an issue.
Against all odds. I decided to share the experiences as I struggle to continue the creative struggle.. The image below is out of my darkness toward light. When I stared out painting I had painted flowers. The reason was to learn about abstract shapes. So now that my vision is limited I have returned to abstract shapes. I can see the shape if I put nose to the canvas. I can’t make out the details. So if there are sloppy edges and mistakes oh well. I know it gives me comfort to look forward to what I create while the state of seriously limited vision continues. Hopefully I will regain my vision, in the mean time I will continue as a creative. This means I will have to adjust and allow the challenges not to frustrate me, but teach me to be a better artist.
click on image to enlarge
I think creatives love to draw the eyes because there are so many stories to be found. However in a drawing or painting the use of light and shadow are subtle stories. I am attempting to find the stories in the shadows. Albeit I love color, black and white drawings work for me. My eyesight is dimming and I am finding it harder and harder to do detail work. However I am also freed to explore what I cannot see without intense effort. Odd how ones weaknesses become ones strengths.
I entered a print exchange project sponsored by the Sketchbook Project in Brooklyn,N.Y. The theme of the project; “The Drive Home…” The project includes 500 artist from all over the globe. Each artist was to create 12 prints. Ten of the prints would be swap between artist, 1 print on display at a New York gallery, the other print to be shown in San Francisco, Ca
My goal was to create a symbol of emotions that would tap into memory or memories of driving home. Perhaps a cheerful image would have worked, but I am only the sum of my own visual diary. I chose a female image because most minds might see a woman as an emotional element. I used an open hand for the woman to lean into. The background was to be cracks of light or broken glass. The rest of the story is to be filled in by those who view the image. I have invited folks to share their memories the image might evoke.
I have 25 in the edition, plus artist proofs. The prints are signed and the edition number is indicated. I have 13 prints left. They are on sale at http://www.saatchionline.com/chaisouth
For all new visitors and y’all old timers to my site, I have been in the midst of a update to my website. Somehow all of my images have disappeared. yep just when I get to be featured in an article with the link to my website. One has just has to laugh at the timing.
In the mean time follow the link below. I have been Featured in a Spotlight article.
To all who are newly registered Welcome.
The reason for the lack of recent updates is due to technical issues that litter my website. I am hoping to build a new site, but time as always is an issue. Hopefully the temporary fix will at least allow me to update.
Below are some new works and others works I have done but have improved. I’m improving as I learn more about my art style. The black and white works I call my Noir period. I am a fan of film noir The film noir idea was a direct result of my committing to work outside my comfort zone. Every year I chose an area I’m not comfortable with…just to help me see and feel nuances in the creative process.
Thanks for stopping by. Click on image to enlarge and to go to next image.
Two reasons why Art House Co-op; Brooklyn Library are really an important part of my creative process. One it helps me to take my work outside of my basement hovel and find ways to discover my own creative groove via exploration. I feel I am not ready as an artist, but Art House Co-op gives me a way to share my expressions. (I am not ready because I do know my artistic voice, I am still learning and finding out what defines me as an artist.)
I was thinking what is a sketchbook? Thanks to the World Wide Web digital sketchbooks or digitizing sketchbooks are widely available. I use Art House Co-op projects as an opportunity to stretch in directions I would normally avoid. However I began to think perhaps I was veering away from the true meaning and use of a sketchbook.
I was relived to discover the general dictionary description of a sketchbook might need a bit of an update. The sketchbook itself has been elevated to its own art form. There are many examples on the net, however it you want to see what folks are currently up to one good place to go;
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The Art House Sketchbook project for me is a chance to concentrate on areas that are outside my comfort zone. Last year I had decided to just explore areas that intimidated me or made me uncomfortable. I did a black/white theme last year in two different sketchbooks. Albeit the book was poorly put together and because I used acrylics the images went a bit wonky, but I loved the exploration. This year I choose two sketchbook themes I knew would challenge me to find a creative approach.
My surprised is now I am learning about 3d modeling and using digital painting programs. I might have veered in the direction of digital painting programs, but 3d modeling!!! The discovery has helped me with issues I have been having for long time. I wish I could use the digital stuff I am creating in the sketchbook. I will still have to paint the images for the book.
There are artist who would model there figures in clay and or wax, then use the clay models as subjects in the work. This process is my process, the problem modeling in clay is exhaustive work. I can’t afford live models because I do not make money yet to justify the cost. So I like to create and used my own models.
I tried Poser, hated it. It is a great program, but I wanted my models to look like the characters I created. Daz 3d is another great program, but the models are standard issue male impressions of women, a load of which are sexualized. However Sculptis allows you a block of clay and you create your own characters. I am using Bryce to build my cityscape and use the model for references for paintings. Part of what I am doing is sketching out an idea, creating a model and painting or painting and creating the model. I get so many ideas just creating one model.
I have started developing more of the story. While drawing ideas come to me and I jot them down. I have just about completed the orange outside structures of my alien environment. I have a few decisions to make. For example I can’t decide if I want to use pumpkin orange monochromatic scheme or red orange. The feel of the brighter color gives the architecture more of a technical freedom, the red orange gives an impression of volitaility.
I am hoping to have at least 5 worlds. 2 worlds will be in one galaxy I think, and 3 in the other, I think this will be a long term project I will continue to develop.
forgive grammer mistakes..okey dokey
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Its the 23rd of Dec and I have yet to pull together the entire concept of the monochromatic theme sketchbook. I mentioned I was learning a 3d modeling program to create sci fy worlds. My thought process was to sketch out ideas, create paintings, then create 3d models of the sketches and/or paintings. Then create a journal with a story to tie the images together. I am convinced I have a good idea, but I am not so sure about time. The deadline is Jan 31st. Plus I have another sketchbook to get done.
now I have to figure out the layout of the pages and how I am going to put the book together.
Today I read part of a book called Framed Ink, by Marcos Mateu-Meatre. So far after partially reading Framed Ink, I have learned that my rough sketches will need to be turned into “shots”. I need to learn how to create scenes that convey feelings. Also the book briefly described using negative space, lighting and how it effects the characters, compositional elements, complex and simple scenes aka shots and so much more. I really have a steep learning curve to face.
I feel as though I am learning a new language. I am feeling a bit overwhelmed because to create the monochromatic galaxy and its story is going to be challenging. I kinda wish I could come up with another idea to make the theme monochromatic work for me. All my ideas with the exception of creating a sci fi world are yawners. The biggest problem for me is to be both writer and illustrator. I suck at writing and am not much of an illustrator. I like abstract, expression, surrealism, etc etc. However a year ago I committed to primarily working outside my comfort zone. So I am attempting to learn how to be a visual storyteller.
There are many problems but I am not allowing myself to be weighed down by them. I write down the issues, or things I need to learn and keep on drawing.
I still do not have a first draft storyboard. I am using a free software program called Celtx to help me create a storyboard. The really nice thing about the program is the cork board for the index cards. Plus you can import your sketches, order your plots etc. I jot down my ideas and keep on drawing. It is interesting for me to see there is something developing. But I only have pieces of the puzzle, that will make up the story.
here are my sketches for today remember to click on the image to enlarge
Today I am working on the storyboard for the “monochromatic” galaxy. I realized I have a LOT of drawing still to do. Below are more rough sketches of characters and buildings.
I have a million decisions to make about the actual page that will go into the book. I also need to explore options on how to bind a book. Plus I need a design for this sketchbook. I truly do not want to use ink. Currently I am testing out using acrylics.
I had disastrous results, the acrylic bleed and distorted my images. In the other book the pages stuck together. However so far I think I might have a solution. I am painting a few pages, then rubbing in Dorland wax, letting the wax stand for a couple of hours. So far I have had decent results. However I am keeping the pages closed for two weeks, under a heavy weight. Hopefully the heavy weight will echo the conditions of one sketchbook among 10000.
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